Eve Ai's latest album "Talk about Eve" is exactly what its title proposes it to be. Like an intimate conversation between friends, Ai broaches a number of topics that span the themes of Love, Life and Escapism, like short anecdotes which are wispily threaded together and bound by Eve's intimate and unique vocals. Eve professed that prior to the creation of this album, she harboured a rather negative and pessimistic outlook on life before realising that love is the answer to all ill intentions and hatred. Shedding the thorny outer layer which she had previously worn in her social critique that composed her previous albums, this time Eve's latest album is a reflection of a freer, happier yet still strongly independent version of herself.
On the first track "Say", Eve collaborated with singer-songwriter Eric Chou who wrote the melody for her. Although the song was originally intended as a ballad, producer George Chen instead arranged it with strong EDM influences, injecting it with a mysterious aura of headiness and lust. The piece was an interesting concoction as the meatiness of Chou's balladic melody interacted with the EDM sound and paired off well with Eve's sensual, throaty vocals. The lyrics, which separately hint at a dedicated love between two people, instead to me react with the throbbing arrangement to give off a 'caught in the moment', transient meaning.
Following the success of his debut album "Learning to love", soon-to-be prolific singer-songwriter Eric Chou has now followed up two years later with his second album, aptly named "What love has taught us". Ever the sensitive type, Chou's music is greatly influenced by some of the best balladeers of our generation, namely the likes of Jay Chou and Wang Leehom. As such, it is easy to mistake him for just another ballad-singing idol. But as he's shown from his chart-topping success from the get-go, Eric is much more than just that. And although the theme of his second album "What love has taught us" seems to just be a marketing gimmick, tacked on to enjoy the success of his previous album, I really do feel that the take-home message from his newest album emulated his growth as a person and as a musician over the past few years.
His first single from his previous album "以後別做朋友 In the future let's not be friends" was bittersweet in its rawness, but rather half-baked in its formulation. This was what I presumed to be the work of someone with talent pure and raw, but not yet completely schooled in the slick profession of music production. But after gaining a couple high-profile gigs, like writing songs for label mates Rosie Yang, A-Lin and Eve Ai, Chou has shown his clout as a songwriter and singer; his velveteen vocals catching in the throat of many a pre-pubescent high-schooler.
Since her debut album in 2012 titled "Home Girl", resident Sweetie pie Sharon Kwan has stayed quiet for the last four years, before finally releasing her second album "Blossom 2.0".
Releasing her first album when she was only 16 and now as a 20-year old, this second album's theme and name signifies her growth as a person, and her blossoming into a beautiful young lady!
In this album, Kwan hopes to reflect upon the different possibilities that are open to a 20 year old girl. Having participated in "The Voice of China" under the tutelage of Mandopop King Jay Chou, he has also put in a few good words for her by recommending her to try singing fast songs rather than her usual balladic or easygoing sound.